Shawn's 10 Advice Pointers of Dating
Things to do to improve yourself and your love life
Some general relationship advice—I have generally had very good relationships—and they have ended when one or more of these criteria were not met on their end:
Shawn's 10 Advice Pointers of Dating
1) Don't go into a relationship with issues you haven't resolved
People don't want to take on a challenge like that in a relationship . When you are looking for someone, you want to present the best version of yourself. You are not looking to pile your burden onto someone else, and it's not fair to bring that into a relationship.
Resolve whatever issues and baggage you have to the best of your ability first. Otherwise, you will blame your partner for doing things to trigger your issues, when in reality, it is your fault for not addressing those issues in the first place.
2) Don't go into a relationship still in the closet
Doing this is not fair to anyone—I mean if you're younger, it can be understandable, but if you're older, there is no excuse to put a partner through that.
Yes, you may lose friends. Yes you may lose family. Yes, you may even lose job opportunities. But, a relationship is doomed to fail if you swear it to secrecy, and it makes the other person feel like you don't value them enough to tell other people about them. This breeds resentment, and strains the relationship.
Loving should be free loving. You should not be afraid to be yourself, and love openly with a person. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule depending on what country you are from, and how extreme that country is—But in the free world, there is no excuse to not be yourself, just in case of what people might think of you. Who cares what they think—Your focus is on you and your partner.
3) Don't go into a relationship because you are lonely
I know this seems counter-intuitive, but if you are looking to fill a void, then that means a void exists in your life, and you are looking to vampire "needy-energy" off someone to fill it, and are not willing to provide it, instead of filling it yourself.
A person isn't your selfish solution to fill the cracks in your life. The best time to look for a relationship is when your life is in order, and when you are content with being single, as is the other person. Then, you can both enjoy your singular lives, and enrich each others lives when you are together.
Failing to do so can result in a person becoming reliant on the other person for love and self validation, or worse: two people that mutually rely on each other for love and self validation. This is not healthy, and if something happens to one person, it often leads the other person becoming emotionally crippled, because they no longer know how to function on their own.
Remember, it is not two halves that make a whole, but two wholes that double the whole. You should be looking at what you have to offer someone else, not what they have to offer you. That is a "taking" mentality—you need to get into a "giving" mentality, and look for others who think the same. Do not look for those who only take; look for those who give as well.
The true definition of love is doing something for another, not because you gain anything from it, but because you know that doing so will make THEM happy, and thus in return, will make YOU happy knowing that they are happy. You live to make the ones you love happy, and to see them laugh and smile. THAT is the definition of love. Not that you are lonely and you need someone to make you feel less alone.
4) Don't go solely based on looks, but don't ignore looks either
Having everything in common with someone but not being physically attracted to them makes them a friend. The reverse makes them a friend with benefits, or a trick. You have to have both.
When you string someone along and make them THINK you are sexually attracted to them simply because it is convenient, or because you like their personality, you are essentially lying to that person. This will bleed to the surface over time, as those you actually ARE attracted to start to take up more of your attention, and you start feeling resentful for having "settled" with this person. The other person will also start to feel your coldness, and you start to grow distant, and will grow stressed, not knowing the cause. This is not fair to them.
Over time, this usually leads to people cheating on others, because they don't want to give up what they have for whatever reason, but their biological sexual needs need to be met, and their heart knows what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway.
On the other hand, when you go off someone based purely on looks, well, it's like buying a really pretty house that hasn't had a lot of work done on it inside, or whose inside has been staged or neglected. The outer beauty of something gets old quickly, once most of your time is spent focusing on other things.
A person with all beauty and no depth or character development will become a dull partner. Once again, the partner will start to look for stimulation elsewhere, while usually staying with the person as a form of self-validation, and a prop to their insecurity—essentially being used as a trophy to others, saying things like, "Look how beautiful my partner is! Aren't I lucky?"
Sometimes, the person you need is not reflected in the physique you admire. A life of only sex can only get you so far, and will start to feel unfulfilling.
Unfortunately it is very hard to find both, which is why there are a lot of online "ghostings"—A person will look to date someone, say, "ehh they're okayyy—I'll set up a date, and in the meantime, see if anything better comes along." Something better comes along, and because they never really built much of an attachment to the first person, they see no need to feel guilty by cutting them off, so they simply ignore them and hope that they get the hint.
It's not a very nice way of dealing with people, but with everything being online now, people don't really feel like the person on the other end is a real person, and thus, they don't care.
5) Honesty and communication are the foundations of any relationship
If you cannot trust your partner with information, then who can you trust? Be mindful of how your partner responds to things, and word things diplomatically. More importantly, be upfront about all your desires in a relationship going into it, and there will be no mess later on.
Trust me; I know it can be scary to lay a bunch of stuff out initially, and you fear that person will ditch you, and that they will leave you thinking that you can't waste any chance you can get. So, most people play that game where they hide things until they feel they have a good enough latch onto the person, and then unload their problems later on, or far far down the line.
If a person truly is willing to be with you, they will understand—It is also extremely cathartic and therapeutic to be honest upfront. In this world of dishonesty, a lot of people are taken aback by it—expecially honesty through self-evaluation, admitting your own faults, etc.
If you're into interesting things—or, *ahem* "interesting" things—then granted a cautionary period of time is important to feel the other person out. But, get it out as soon as you are sure. If say you don't want commitment, and want more of a "free loving" relationship, it is ESSENTIAL that you state this upfront—People need to know where they stand, and decide if that is something they need. It may limit your choices, but it will get you better choices and less encounters that blow up in your face.
All relationships fail either due to a lack of honesty, or due to a lack of communication. Remember that.
6) A lack of sex tends to be a bad sign
If they are no longer sexually interested, and aren't "asexual," then you might expect them to start looking elsewhere—This can just happen over time, in an open relationship, or in a forced relationship, or if someone no longer looks the same as they used to.
People will always look for the superior model, if the one they are with no longer suits them—Not everyone is strong enough to stay in a relationship based on love and security alone. Be mindful of this, and discuss open relationships, or openly start to look elsewhere.
Don't misread this though. If the person is simply super busy with life or stressed out, sex is not going to be the first priority in their life, and in fact may be the last thing on their mind. Sex is usually used either as a coping mechanism when things go badly, or as a way to relieve stress or mutually express love to one another when things are going well.
Sometimes, you just need to give a person space. But, if years start to go by without sex, then it's either time to start discussing opening the relationship up to see other people, or it's time to have a talk about how to evolve the relationship, or whether to end it. When there is no sex involved, then you are roommates, not lovers—Being lovers involves loving.
7) Don't stand for abuse of any kind
A lot of people stay with people because they feel that person is their "dream" individual, and thus will tolerate a lot of abuse as a result. I know despairing over meeting someone is a real thing, but there are PLENTY of people out there that fit your bill, that are not abusive.
Enabling an abuser only makes them bolder, and makes them feel like they "own" you—which can lead to worse and worse fits of rage. However, abuse is not only limited to the physical, of course.
Emotional and psychological abuse is just as bad—guilt tactics, using sabotage tactics, jealousy, depriving romantic gestures as a way of "getting even" with you, etc. None of these behaviours get better over time, so if you start to see the signs, know that whatever love was there, it is either not being displayed in a healthy way due to the person not resolving their issues, or that the love is waning or is dead, and it is dangerous to stay in this kind of relationship.
8) On that last note, do NOT advertise yourself negatively
Don't advertise yourself as "frustrated because you can't meet anyone," or "just out of an abusive relationship," etc. It makes people skittish that the aura of negativity you immersed yourself in will visit them next. Always advertise yourself positively, detail your best assets, and never go into a relationship with emotional baggage, or right after you got out of another relationship; release the baggage.
The whole "rebound" partner is a real thing. The first thing a person needs when they get out of an abusive relationship is to feel relevant. For many people, being the one to end the relationship is a great way for them to feel like they are once again in control, and you just happen to be that victim.
Don't be that victim. You can be the friend they need to comfort them after, but keep it at that. On the opposite side, if you were the one just out of an abusive relationship, take some time to yourself, to do things for yourself and learn to love yourself.
This is your time to rebuild, and you are no prize to anyone with that amount of baggage on your mind. Unload it, become happy again in self-love, and then once you are happy and have things to offer others, get back in the game! But only then.
9) If you are not confident about yourself, do not go into a relationship
You need to love yourself first, before you can love anyone else: Cardinal rule #1 of dating.
This isn't to be confused with pride, vanity, or arrogance, though. It simply means that, when you look in the mirror, everything society is telling you that is wrong with you is not influencing how you see yourself, only how you logically see yourself.
For example, if you are perfect for your body-type but the world tells you you are too skinny or too fat, ignore that. However, if you know you are starving yourself, or you know you are overweight, then it is your responsibility to take care of this, as this is also self-love—loving your body by treating it properly.
In other words ignore the faulty advice of the world, while listening to the truthful advice that comes from within. Once you feel confident that you are healthy emotionally, without problems (to the best of your ability), baggage free, and have an overall sense of happiness and well-being, and a feeling of something to offer another—That is the ideal time to look for a partner.
10) Don't date your close friends
In fact, if you can, do not even date in your social circle. Most relationships do not last forever, and they change the social dynamic, and then become REALLY awkward for everyone involved when you break up, either on good grounds or bad grounds.
People are accused of moving in on their "ex" after, or associating with them if things go wrong. Someone you dated is not your property, and people are free to date whomever you wish: Cardinal rule #2 of dating.
Regardless of how mature YOU might be, the rest of the world, for the most part, is not, and petty jealousies and resentful feelings last for YEARS. Trust me, I've seen it. You get the, "how can you be friends with that person? Don't you know what they did to me?" or, "Look at what 'such and such' is doing... What a ____."
Nobody needs to be subjected to your inner whirlwind drama, and everyone deserves chances at redemption and happiness. Perhaps that person can learn from the mistakes they made with that other person, and grow from it. If you are going to date within your own social circle, you both have to be mature enough to bury the hatchet after.
Having a foundation of friendship is always advisable before going into ANY relationship, because then there is always a state to return to if things do not go well. If you delve right into dating without any other form first, then when it ends, there is nothing to return to, and most people go their separate ways. This isn't necessarily bad, but it can be regrettable, as people should not have to hate each other simply because they are compatible, and made regrettable decisions in love.
People are not inherently evil, but everyone makes mistakes that they regret. It is part of being human, and no matter how perfect you may think you are, you are not, and neither are they. Learn to forgive yourself, and learn to forgive others, and see this game of love as a way of tasting platters on a buffet to see what works the best.
It may take several platters, and you may drop a few that were perfect along the way, but you will learn a great deal, and each one will enrich you in its own way, for good or bad. Life is a learning process. What you learn will either tell you what they need to improve on, or what you need to. Remember, you do not choose your events in life necessarily, but you always choose how YOU react to them.
So, in conclusion, let me reiterate. It is not two halves to make a whole—It is two wholes to double the whole.
Hope this helps!